As a manager or team leader, you want to ensure that your work-from-home employees are churning out productivity. Whether meeting a deadline, completing a project, or completing a critical deal, having good time management skills is essential.

Understand your natural time management style and conduct a time and task analysis. Learn to prioritize tasks, set SMART goals, delegate tasks, and concentrate.

Make a to-do list

A to-do list is one of the most common tools for getting work done. However, they’re not all created equal.

One productivity experiment found that people who wrote down six tasks daily and ranked them in order of priority were much more productive than those who didn’t make lists!

The key is to keep your lists to a realistic length. Some experts suggest limiting your to-do list to seven items or less. They also recommend making your list aesthetically pleasing by writing it out on pretty stationery or creating a sleek document on your phone. This way, you’ll feel motivated to check off each task as it gets completed. This can also help you avoid wasting time on unimportant tasks.

Set realistic deadlines

Setting realistic deadlines is critical for ensuring productivity. If your deadlines are tight enough, you risk stressing yourself or others out and under-delivering. On the other hand, if your deadlines are too loose, you may be tempted to procrastinate or even ignore your projects altogether.

One way to set realistic deadlines is by using planning. This process involves planning out a project’s details before making an arbitrary time limit. Another helpful tool is to use a timer. Having a beeping timer helps make the time frame seem more realistic than an internal inclination. Finally, any deadline over a day should be broken down into smaller units to motivate people to adhere to them. Delegating tasks also promotes productivity, especially when the job is less important or challenging.

Say “no” on-time

Learning how to say “no” politely is one of the most essential skills for time management. This allows you to preserve energy and avoid low productivity, ill health, or burnout.

Keeping track of your priorities will help determine whether you can fit another task. However, if it would require sacrificing other tasks or a personal goal, then you should say “no” to that request.

To teach your participants this, you can use a simple activity. First, provide each participant with items arranged in different colors (colored blocks, crayons, playing cards, or sweets wrapped in various colors). Then, ask them to collect as many of these items as possible in a minute. This is an effective and fun way to demonstrate the importance of prioritization.

Prioritize your tasks

A significant part of time management training is learning how to prioritize tasks. This is a crucial skill that can help you achieve more in the same amount of time and keep from getting bogged down with unimportant tasks.

One method of prioritizing is to sort tasks based on their deadlines. This will give you the most urgent, critical missions to complete first. Another way to prioritize jobs is by analyzing their impact on goals and outcomes. This is called the Pareto principle, or “eating the frog.”

Finally, you can also sort tasks by the effort required. This is an excellent technique for people who struggle to find motivation. By tackling the highest-effort, most important tasks first, you will gain momentum and motivation to tackle other tasks.

Track your time

One of the most important things you can do to improve your time management skills is to track your work. This allows you to see how much time you spend on different tasks and helps you determine your priorities.

This is also helpful for determining how long it will take you to complete a task. Many people need to pay more attention to how long tasks will take, and tracking your time can help you avoid that problem.

You can use this information to prioritize your work and better balance your personal and professional lives. It’s an essential skill that you should learn. In addition to that, it can make your job a lot more satisfying. You’ll feel more confident and productive. In the end, the benefits of time management training will be well worth it.

By Eliza